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Seniors to lead Brookhaven boys track team

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ERIC GEORGE/THISWEEKSPORTS
Blake McEwen, a sprinter, is among a large senior class expected to lead the Brookhaven boys track and field team.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

During the 2010 postseason, the Brookhaven High School boys track and field team used a strong sprint corps to win a Division I district title for the first time since 1991 and post the area's best score in the state meet.

The depth that the Bearcats have throughout most running events could position them to approach those finishes this season.

Brookhaven opened March 30 by finishing 10th (21 points) of 17 teams that scored in the Icebreaker Invitational, which was won by host Watkins Memorial (179).

"We're senior-led this year," said Steve Ayers, who is in his fifth season as coach. "We've got probably the most seniors we've had in a couple years on the boys side. We've got eight seniors (in running events) and they're all veterans, which makes it kind of nice."

Back after running on the 800-meter relay that was 10th (1 minute, 29.56 seconds) at state last season are seniors Lei'Tonn Backus and Joshua Baker.

Seniors Ramone Broomfield, Kevin Greenhow, Blake McEwen and KeOre Turner also are experienced sprinters.

Senior Casey Gayle will compete in the 300 hurdles and could run on the 3,200 relay. Senior Roger Higginbotham will run middle distance.

Juniors Devonte Hill, Paul Hughes and Devante Lewis and sophomores Asain Crego, Colby Ketchens and David Peoples are other sprinters.

Senior Quadraus Collins and sophomore Matthew Lara are competing in the shot put and discus.

Ayers also is leading the girls team and Tomeka Howell, who coached the girls the last two seasons, is assisting.

Seniors Meshia McCoy and Alexis McGill and juniors Jatia Green and Raivyn Hooker are the top returnees.

Other seniors are Maize Buncombe (sprints), Brandee Edwards (sprints) and KaiAcha O'Daniels (sprints, long jump).

Juniors include Myeisha Arnold (shot put, discus), Tracy Bennett (hurdles), Travasia Coleman (hurdles, middle distance) and Cortland Crego (long jump).

Also hoping to contribute are sophomores Nazarae Butler (sprints) and Crijana Odari (distance).

"I think we're going to be real strong," Ayers said. "This year we've got a couple more sprinters and a couple more distance runners."

The girls team opened by finishing ninth (27) in the Icebreaker Invitational behind champion Gahanna (198) as 16 teams scored.

Last season, Eastmoor Academy won the City League boys meet with 153 points. Brookhaven was second (88), Northland placed fourth (65.33) and Beechcroft was ninth (19.33).

Centennial won the girls City title with 106 points, with Northland placing second (106), Brookhaven finishing fourth (67.5) and Beechcroft taking 11th (20).

Last year in the Division I state meet, 2012 Brookhaven graduate Charletta Henley placed fourth in the long jump (17 feet, 5 3/4 inches).

Vikings track teams have big numbers

The Northland boys and girls track teams both began their seasons with about 40 competitors.

Both teams opened March 30 in the Hornet Relays at Licking Heights.

The top returnee for the girls is senior Jasmine Weatherspoon, who placed fourth (5-4) in the Division I state high jump last season. She is expected to be healthy after missing most of basketball season with a knee injury.

Other key seniors for the girls should include Jasmine Owens (distance) and Kennedi Pitts (hurdles, sprints). Also looking to contribute are juniors Kennedy Dulaney (hurdles, sprints), Zari Jackson (shot put, discus), Mackenzie Pahren (distance) and Jasmine Winston (shot put, discus), sophomores Mariah Nevels (long jump, sprints) and Ariel Skipper (sprints) and freshmen Caitlyn Best (sprints, middle distance), Deanna Coles (hurdles, sprints) and Broquelyn Shepherd (shot put, discus).

"We have 44 out, and the nice thing is that 11 of them are throwers," said Tom Fast, who is in his 10th season as coach. "We'll be deep again this year. The City is going to be good."

The boys team returns senior Kevin Moore (hurdles, middle distance), juniors Ayo Adedipe (high jump, long jump), Jhustus Cornley (sprints), Mohamed Kamara (sprints) and James Williams (long jump/middle distance) and sophomore Darius Owens (distance).

Also looking to contribute are juniors Hasani Goosby (sprints), Ibrahim Mansaray (hurdles, middle distance), Malcolm Marshall (sprint) and Mohamed Mara (discus, shot put) and freshman Justin Smith (hurdles, sprints).

Last season, 2012 graduate Will Barnes was second at state in the 110 hurdles (14.23).

"We have a lot of guys this year," said Marcos Segovia, who is in the second year of his second tenure as boys coach. "Jhustus was pretty close last year in the regional and last year was the first year he did track. Kevin Moore has been working hard in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles and has been around for a few years."

Cougars track teams excited for season

The Beechcroft boys and girls track teams opened April 2 in the Hamilton Township Booster Invitational.

The girls team has a new coach in Mike Moncrief, who had been assisting Larry Bromagen before he stepped down during the offseason.

Moncrief's team will feature four competitors from last year's Division II regional in senior Hailee Cannady, juniors Ramyus Conteh and Tivia Hylton and sophomore Ahmel Roberson. They ran on the 800 relay that was third (1:50.1) in the district 2 meet.

Also back is senior Amber Radcliff, who helped the 400 relay finish ninth in the 2011 state meet.

Other key girls should include seniors Nejet Besher (middle distance) and Charissa Richardson (middle distance), juniors Jordan Glover (sprints) and Ke'Azia Mosely (middle distance) and sophomore Jamerah Reaves (sprints).

"The weather has been killing us, but luckily our athletes have worked hard," said Moncrief, a 1992 Beechcroft graduate who had been an assistant the last five years. "Our numbers have actually been up, so I'm very excited."

Bruce Ward, who is in his second season as boys coach, is pleased with his numbers as well.

"We have about 27, so we're excited," he said. "Most of our guys are either first-year guys or didn't compete in meets before."

Senior Maurice Hale should be one of the top hurdlers along with junior Darius Ford.

Looking to contribute in sprinting events are juniors Charles Ellis, Bryan Quijada and Robert Smoot, sophomores Rayshawn Norah and Tieric Osley and freshman Robert Williamson.

Sophomore Deontre Keyes will be in the long jump and high jump, Williamson will compete in the long jump and Ford will be in the high jump. Sophomores Tyree Dukes and Chaquez Fair are competing in the shot put and discus.

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